People: Sandstone Legal; Hydrogen Safe; H&H Group; MHA Moore and Smalley; Manchester’s Finest Group; Gorvins

Avanti Menon and Emma Lodge

Specialist consumer law firm Sandstone Legal welcomes newly qualified solicitors Emma Lodge and Avanti Menon to the business in new permanent roles, with both having recently completed their training while working at the firm.

Having completed her Masters of Law in 2021, Emma completed the first part of her training contract with Phillipson Hardwick where she gained substantial operational experience. She has now completed her training in full working within Sandstone’s financial litigation department and has taken on a permanent role as a qualified solicitor within the team.

To further build on her operations skillset, she has taken on the role of overseeing Lancaster-based Sandstone’s newly-formed specialist Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) team which represents clients who have been mis-sold car finance loans.

Avanti has qualified after sitting the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) assessments and will now work in the firm’s Business Energy team. She also boasts a wealth of prior experience in financial litigation.

Experienced in the challenges that come with balancing study and full time employment, she has taken on an additional new role as the firm’s Professional Development Lawyer. Alongside her caseload, Avanti will oversee the latest Sandstone Academy cohort and assist with compliance training and the ongoing development of staff.

Sandstone Director of Legal Operations, Lee Anderson, said: “We are all hugely proud of Avanti and Emma. They have worked incredibly hard to achieve their qualifications whilst also working to represent our clients, and their efforts have been greatly appreciated.”

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Rachael Burns

Hydrogen Safe, the specialist training organisation that equips and educates people to work safely in the green energy sector, has appointed Rachael Burns as head of partnerships in education to provide strategic support as the business continues to extend its network within the sector.

Previously director of operations and strategic partnerships at Credersi, Rachael will use her previous experience to build relationships and develop strategic partnerships with colleges, academies, universities and training providers throughout the UK.

Adding the UK’s first Ofqual registered hydrogen qualifications to the current syllabus, colleges and universities can equip students with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to work safely with hydrogen and access the full potential of the green energy sector.

Furthermore, the specialist team from Manchester- based Hydrogen Safe will provide an immersive learning experience by incorporating the latest extended reality (XR) and artificial intelligence into its training, along with classroom-based learning and practical application.

CEO and founder of Hydrogen Safe, Andy Lord, said: “Rachael is already proving to be a huge asset to us and is engaging with the education and training providers that want to get ahead of the curve, equipping students with the skills they need to access the green energy sector.”

Rachael said: “Being a part of the business that is educating the next generation of talent, while upskilling the workmen and women that will be accessing roles within the green energy sector, is inspirational. I am really looking forward to meeting up with more education and training providers that want to join us on this journey.”

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Will Hamilton

Carlisle-based H&H Group has welcomed Will Hamilton of Bee Edge Farm, Coldingham, in the Scottish Borders, to the office of chair.

Will takes up this position from retiring chair Michael Scott after serving for five years as a non-executive director and recently as vice chair.

H&H Group is a holding company for the UK’s largest livestock trading company, Harrison & Hetherington, and three other operating companies encompassing livestock, machinery and vehicle auctioneers, brokers and valuers, estate agents, auction rooms, commercial printing and signage manufacture, website development in addition to chartered surveyors, and insurance brokers.

Will said: “It has been a privilege to have been on the board for the past five years and a great honour to be invited to serve as chair of this outstanding group of businesses. I have had the opportunity to work with a fantastic team of people here at H&H, and despite the disruption of COVID, under the excellent stewardship of Michael Scott the group has forged ahead. I would like to acknowledge my huge respect for the outgoing chair and offer my thanks to Michael and to our CEO, Richard Rankin, for enabling me to take the chair of a business in such a strong position for the future.”

H&H Group CEO, Richard Rankin, said: “Will has an exceptional understanding of our businesses and our customer base. He fully embraces our traditional values and qualities, but he is just as passionately committed to the innovation and investment in our services, infrastructure and technology that will continue to make us relevant to the next generation of H&H customers and clients.

“It has been a privilege to work with Michael Scott, and we are all looking forward to the next chapter for the future with Will in the chair.”

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Chris Colclough and Graham Gordon

North West accountancy and business advisory firm, MHA Moore and Smalley, has strengthened its financial planning team with the appointment of experienced financial planning consultant, Chris Colclough.

Chris joins as consultant after holding a range of financial planning roles at firms including St. James’s Place, Pareto Financial Planning and Evelyn Partners. Before this, Chris was a business owner in the property development sector.

He will support MHA Moore and Smalley clients across the North West, advising business owners, professionals and high net worth individuals on investments, pensions planning and risk management.

Managing partner, Graham Gordon, said: “The ability to fully understand our clients and support their long term goals is key in financial planning. Chris’s expertise, twinned with his experience as a business owner, gives him this deep understanding and will mean he is able to provide the best possible advice.”

Chris, who is currently studying toward being a Chartered Financial Planner, said: “During my conversations with MHA Moore and Smalley, it was clear the firm deeply values both its clients and its staff. The opportunity to work in a business which allows staff opportunities to further develop and grow really excited me about the role. I’m looking forward to supporting our clients in meeting their financial goals.”

The appointment of Chris now brings the firm’s financial planning team to 30, with one partner, three directors and four consultants.

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New team members

Publisher and creative agency, Manchester’s Finest Group, has appointed five new additions to its growing team.

Ben Arnold, an experienced senior writer, joins from Manchester Evening News, bringing an understanding of the local hospitality landscape and experience in leading multi-platform content projects.

Emily Kemp is one of two new account manager hires. She brings expertise from WRG, showcasing a proven track record in account management and extensive previous experience in events. Emily will play a pivotal role in nurturing client relationships and executing campaigns.

Carly Spencer, an experienced account manager from London’s W Communications, will add valuable strategic insight to the team. She has a diverse background in large scale activations and ad campaigns for global FMCG brands.

Natalie Rees joins the team in a new role for the group as an editorial executive. Also joining from the Manchester Evening News, Rees honed her skills in both lifestyle editorial and social media content creation under the City Life brand. She will oversee and expand Finest’s new events listings coverage across Greater Manchester.

Finally, new partnership sales executive, Benjamin Weiss, joined earlier this summer and has taken charge of selling the recently launched ‘Places’ business directory. He brings a wealth of experience in sales from previous roles at Wavze, PHMG and Neuron Pro Audio to spearhead this innovative initiative.

Director, James Barker, welcomed the new team members, saying: “Their expertise and passion will undoubtedly play a key role in supporting our group’s continuous growth, enhancing our capabilities, and further elevating the exceptional services we provide to our clients.”

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Rachel Lipschultz, Magdal Kiszczynska, Mia Senior, Rachael Day

Stockport-based law firm, Gorvins Solicitors, has bolstered its workforce with two new associate solicitors and two paralegals.

Joining across the family law, wills, trusts and probate, commercial litigation and crime and regulatory divisions, respectively, they each bring a wealth of knowledge from their respective fields.

Rachael Day, associate solicitor, family law, began her legal career in 2017 before qualifying in September 2020.

She is joined by Magdalena Kiszczynska, associate solicitor, wills, trusts and probate who is experienced in both contentious probate and personal injury departments having started her legal career in 2019.

Rachel Lipschutz, paralegal, commercial litigation, completed both her Law degree and the LPC LLM at the University of Law and starts alongside Mia Senior, paralegal, crime and regulatory. She previously studied Law at the University of Leeds and recently completed her LPC at the University of Law in Manchester.

Partner, Christian Mancier, said: “We may have been around for more than 150 years, but we’re not standing still.

“Client demand has driven growth across most practice areas and the headcount has had to increase to accommodate requirements. Our quartet of new recruits each bring their own skillset to the table and are a welcome addition to the business.”

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